Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & ugly

GOOD: This past week was a good week to watch movies & do some house work & catch up on a few other things. I started the week with Zumba class on Sunday afternoon & then went into recovery mode for my head cold. Let me tell ya, intense physical exertion with a severe soar throat is not a good idea! My favorite movie that Z & I watched was Miss Potter about the life of Beatrix Potter. It is one of those movies I remember seeing advertised possibly before it came out & I couldn't believe that it came out in 2006. Renting mainly from a Redbox in the last couple of years has greatly changed the availability of what we rented. Now living in a town with a Family Video & no Redbox, there's a different variety of movies to rent. There's also something nostalgic of actually going into a video store & browsing for the right movie for that day. The other exciting peace of my week is taking on more work that will use my skill sets & allow me to work out of my strengths. More about that to come later!

BAD: Feeling cooped up so much of the time. Lucky for our fur ball, it has been warm enough to take her on several walks lately. Not so lucky for her is that she usually needs rinsed off afterwords from all the mud & dirt that has flung up on her underbelly. These pictures are the state of our back patio & yard to date. This was yesterday evening. I'd been wanting to walk out into the huge snow drift for quite some time & Z hit a point that he wanted to try & shovel it. Well, as you can see it is SO solid that I'm as tall as the house standing on the drift. We may need a heat lamp at this point to use our patio any time soon.

UGLY: All the back & forth about World Vision & their hiring policy. They made a well thought & I'm assuming prayed out written decision that upset the fruit basket & quickly took it all back. Talk about whiplash! Then there was something going on with Hobby Lobby, but I'll be honest, I was so tired of all the controversy over World Vision & things going on around the world that are less than uplifting that I didn't even read up on any of the Hobby Lobby information.

WORD: Today I suggest reading The God Article

coming up: Hunkering down & figuring out the details of some my new work. Reading b/c I'm slow at reading stories that I already know & want to finish The Help before our Paris trip. And getting outside as much as possible because while it doesn't totally look like it, Spring is here!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Favorites!

Over the course of many months Fridays have become my Tuesday. Yes, I say Tuesday because they're not quite as hectic as Mondays, but they're definitely the start of something new since Z & I try to take Thursdays off. Though we just admitted this morning that we haven't been very good at truly taking a day "off." 

Yesterday wasn't much of a day off at all in lieu of household sickness. There was much cleaning & sanitizing to be done so that we didn't become more sick off of one another's ailments.

So I say thank you for the little things this week that have given us strength when physically it hasn't been a super strong week.

My BGEG sent this pretty pink card to say thank you & while it had such a heart felt message  inside, it reminded me to be thankful in return. BGEG recently ended her time working in retail book sales. My oh my did I learn through her stress how important it is to say "Thank You" as often as possible. It not only is a sign of gratitude for sharing life & talents together, but it is a sign of acknowledging each other's humanity & feeding each other souls in a very necessary survival sort of way.

Today, remember to mind your P's & Q's & remember to say Thank You to those who serve you in even the tiniest of ways.

Thank you for being you & sharing life, spirit, & sparkle!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

It's the best time of the week & to be honest I'm on round two of my echinacea tea bag for the morning. Z started very early this morning with a full day ahead & of course our fur-baby thought she needed to get up as well. Little does she know is just because she wanted her morning routine about 90min early does not mean she'll get her evening meal 90min early. Good thing my only plans outside the house today involve buying more tissues & this time I'm splurging on Kleenex brand with lotion in them. I'm the champion of finishing off 3 boxes of tissues in less than the last 24 hours!

Naturally with this bit of a head cold I was feeling sorry for myself & a craving that I've had for quite some time - seriously a couple of months at least - needed to be calmed. When you're having a craving for something that you try to ignore, does it ever truly go away? Maybe the craving itself does, but the thought that you like that thing you're craving does not. Which overall makes me think that the craving doesn't actually go away.

So on a whim, last night, Z was at a meeting & I decided to make chocolate chip cookies to have when he came home. Let's call it a whim, since I don't really like baking. All I wanted was the dough, but I knew it'd be more fun to share, so I baked the cookies. I even cut the recipe in half so that I didn't end up with the supposed 5 dozen cookies a full recipe would've made. It's all about moderation, right? Since I baked the cookies, I ate way less dough & gave some cookies away!

Now my craving for cookie dough has been calmed & happiness has been shared & Tuesday Tea Time is a touch sweeter!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & ugly

GOOD: I'm always thankful for sunshine when I travel, especially when I travel long distances by myself. So that was a good start to the week. One big theme of the week was food. Oh how I love food! Momma P had sent me back to MI with the goods to make corned beef grilled cheese sandwhiches & left over Irish car bomb cupcakes for St. Paddy's Day. While still recovering from that goodness we made homemade turkey burgers with a few modifications to what's listed in the recipe. Then on Friday we made homemade pizza from a dough & sauce recipe that was gifted to us for one of our wedding showers & never been used. Thank you MTB & the rest of the Tornero family for passing on the goodness! Saturday was a relaxing day with a bit of cleaning, an adventure to the local coffee shop just to get out of the house - even if it's still quite chilly - & some planning for our upcoming trip to Paris. The bonus pieces of the week were chats through G-chat, Skype, phone & attempts at FaceTime with college friends, seminary friends, & family.

BAD: The reality that people have to debate how to react to the death of a church leader who hurt a lot of people. Death is death, it's the end of a person's life & no matter the good or bad that person caused we need to honor that a life is not in our world any longer, but another. For all the articles that have said to not cheer for death of a hurtful person, the people have already cheered simply by wondering if it is okay to do so. Do what you need to take care of yourself.

UGLY: Today my ugly is the cold, but all you have to do see ugly is turn on the news channel or go to check it out online. There is bound to be something about war or hunger or devastation.

WORD: Psalm 128 - "Happy is everyone who fears the Lord." Discuss!

coming up: Singing random songs about the dog, hopefully warmer temps again, snow melting, dancing, & more time getting to know the community in which we live.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Favorites!

I know I know, most of you who follow me have prolly seeen enough Michi photos to last a life time. This past week though there was so much good that fit into Fridays I had to include this photo simply because it says "Happy Day!"

The first day of Spring, the slightly warmer temps, the adventure back to MI from hoosierland, the delicious turkey burgers we made last night, the changing ministry opportunities, & the connections I continue to make with friends new & old. All are favorites!

May your Friday be filled with many favorites too!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Do you ever feel like you have a twitch or an unsettling energy that can't be calmed easily?

It's like somebody snuck some catnip into my tea, except I'm not a cat or much of a cat lover & I made my tea.

I blame it on the changing of the seasons. Spring starts officially in 2 days even if the snow is still a few feet deep & there's more expected to fall.

I thought this twitch would be satisfied for a while with this past weekend's road trip, but it's in my soul to be adventuresome. I love seeing new scenery & meeting new people. I love hearing stories & seeing the Spirit at work in the lives of others & how that means She's working in my life.

I find community & engaging in each others' lives to be of utmost importance for survival. Maybe I'm so over saturated from all the community I experienced from my road trip that I can't help but have a twitch.

This energy or twitch is so prevalent that I am more aware of my senses & others' too. It's like the chiropractic adjustment I had done last Friday released something into the right place & it's working on staying there permanently, but because I'm so used to being out of whack, it's keeping me awake at night.

Ok, so this energy has only given me one night of restless sleep & as usual, I only had one tea bag this morning. Definitely going for the decaffeinated the rest of the day!

What gives you this twitch?

Cheers to twitchy tea time!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Snippits:

Happy Sunday!

This past week is good, bad, & ugly - as usual. Life is an adventure!

GOOD: The week started with some slightly warmer temps & March is definitely proving to be more sun shine filled than February. Tuesday was a sad & joyful celebration of TE's life. Wednesday was busy preparing to drive to hoosierland for the weekend. While in hoosierland I was spoiled by my family & friends. I enjoyed surprising my life long best friend , BGEG, at the local coffee shop as she & family were carrying in her artwork to set up her show. The baby gender revealing party KZ-S & momma & papa E held was a delight to be at. The revealing came through popping balloons with confetti the "gender appropriate color" inside. It's a girl! Then today I learned another childhood good friend is also having a baby girl. 2014 truly is the year of many babies from my peers. And let me not forget getting to worship with my brother's "praise band" & then go back to a St. Patty's day celebration with family & close friends.

BAD: The further North I drove today the deeper the snow got. While I was gone it rained & snowed. Ah the life of living in the Great North! I'm too tired from travel to remember much of anything else right now.

UGLY: In lieu of the fact that we are currently watching 12 Years a Slave. Modern day slavery & discrimination. While the movie is based on a true story that is over 100 years old, the hatred for people who are different that oneself & a ridiculous sense of entitlement is all too common.

WORD: Last night I heard a version of the story of Paul on the road to Damascus like I've never heard. One thing that struck me was that Paul was never actually mentioned. While the speaker started with a focus on washing the mud from our eyes he turned the focus into shaving & the fact that "Jesus shaves & saves" & we need to put on the "aftershave of life." Yup!

coming up: Prepping for a few different job things, dancing, singing, enjoying the sunshine!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites!

This week was full of adventure, sad & happy. Today I share with you my best friend BGEG & her hubby setting up her artwork at the Kenapocomocha in our childhood home town. I drove South yesterday to surprise them for the weekend as we will be celebrating together learning the sex of their baby at a gender revealing party put together by her sister & mom. 

Surprises, fresh art, & good lunch convo make for a pretty good Friday Favorites in my book. But I don't want to forget, BGEG got her blog up & running & you can find it at Her artwork is day dreams & soaring imagination in color! Be sure to stop by her blog or even the 'Mocha to admire & purchase her work.

Just for a taste 'cause it's so bright & brings a smile to my face to know BGEG is doing what she loves:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Welcome to Tuesday Tea Time with my friend's God-daughter & friends!

LBG shared this photo after a stressful week of her last semester of seminary & I loved the joy it brought her. It's got some great friends in it too. I mean, how many people often have tea with Barney the purple dinosaur & Snoopy? I think Curious George might be there too!

So in lieu of today being the funeral of my friend TE & the stressful week that LBG was having last week, I share the little things that bring us joy & hope that there will be abundant smiles in our future.

Today I find joy in the puddles from yesterday. While these puddles may be seen as messy, they are a beautiful mess. They are a sign of a long hard Winter. They are a symbol of the variety in creation that God brings us each year. They are a sign of being washed clean for the coming Summer months when we'll think it's too dry & hot.

And of course there's joy in this tea time, remembering the times with TE, & the shared tea time with LBG & her God-daughter.

May tea time bring you a daily dose of joy!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & ugly!

Sunday Snippits!

GOOD: Winter is ending nicely. I know that doesn't mean there won't be more snow, in fact there's likely more to come this evening, but the temperatures are finally starting to warm up a bit. Facebook was filled with plenty of uplifting pieces of art & funnies this past week. Ash Wednesday went off without a hitch & with many #ashtag(s). While the #ashtag is ridiculously nerdy, it is also a pretty great way of sharing one's faith in Jesus & outwardly acknowledging our human fate of being made from dust & returning to dust. Reading this article brings me hope of change in the church for expanding the kingdom of God. Friday night we had fun with friends at a new restaurant in a neighboring town & Z tried frog legs for the first time (& prolly his last). AND to top of these good things our passports have been renewed & we have booked our first trip out of the country for next month! While we have been numerous places before ever knowing one another existed, we have not been on any over the ocean trips together.

BAD: While Ash Wednesday reminds us that from dust we came & to dust we will return, this week makes that far to real for my liking. The death of a dear friend (TE) to the most aggressive form of breast cancer (IBC), an accidental dose of chemo to my uncle who's living with PICK's disease & small cell lung cancer - it helped him breath better even though they weren't doing chemo, & the death of my best friend's (AJO) Grandma.

UGLY: The continuing war throughout the world. The crazy highs & lows that are a part of grief. The unknown.

WORD: So Z & I have been doing different devotions lately. I've been regularly doing the AM & PM devo that's part of the 'devotion' app on my phone. Occassionally we do those together, but we've also been doing the Luther Seminary Lenten Devotional. In Zumba today I shared Psalm 127 because I thought it was the Psalm I read the other day (it wasn't) through one of these devos that I just didn't connect with on that day in lieu of the grief I've been dealing with.

coming up: A funeral on Tuesday, some camp prep, some Zumba work, & as always some adventure!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Favorites AND One Word 365 Update!

I share Friday Favorites with a heavy heart today. Today we are figuring out how to celebrate the life of our friend TE. I blogged about tea with TE back in November (celebrate her joy for life & people here). Sadly, yesterday afternoon TE's time on earth was ended & she fully joined God in heaven. Her mantra through all of her treatments & adventure with cancer was "God in, Cancer out!"

While it's not what anybody wanted, God is in & cancer is out. This picture that reads "With Brave Wings She Flies" is TE's current profile picture on FB. Naturally people are sharing lovely memories of who they knew TE to be.

I wrote in my November Friday Favorite that she is my inspiration. Even in her passing into a life that is whole with the Spirit staring her in the face, she continues to inspire.

And "with brave wings, she flies."

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

Last week we talked about the World Tea Expo & my love for travel & new things. Well 'new things' is a bit broad. Really it's my love for education. Yes, I, the girl who knew I'd go to college, but didn't know if I'd do the traditional 4 year plan & then for sure was not going on to do any sort of further education that required me to take the GRE. Well I found that master's program that spoke to my heart & my being that was not connected to the GRE & went to seminary to continue my studies in World Religions & be trained deeper in my Christian - more specifically Lutheran - roots as a leader for & with the Church in the World.

Being in between jobs right now after being in a specific education program most of my life is a unique place to be. So I thought to myself aside from dreaming about potential future trips to things like the World Tea Expo, that I should decide what I can learn more about right now. Being a blogger who writes something about what's going in life while drinking tea on Tuesdays, I was led to Tea 101 with the Republic of Tea.

The 6 day e-mail series is short & filled with quality information for a better cup of tea. While it is only 6 days & very nice that it's e-mail form so that you can come back to it whenever you want, I am no high class tea drinker. The one habit I don't want to break is having more than 6oz of water to make my tea. Thus I figure means steeping the tea leaves longer, but I did not see this information in the e-course.

Daydreaming is great, but doing something with those dreams is even better.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & ugly

GOOD: These boots! Not only are they a quality brand with good support they were a surprise, on sale, & oh the wonderful colors! I can't get enough :-) This last Tuesday I finished my phoning job which was a bit of a relief to finally be done with the list of people to call. It was a blessing to be able to work with YE again though & to continue to promote the ministries that God has them offering. I seemed to have beat the crud that I was feeling at the beginning of last week & move into the middle of the week figuring out how to spend my time with more than enough to do & figure out about life. By the end of the week I found myself sending e-mails pulling me out of one job application process & pushing forward with another for a summer gig at Michi-Lu-Ca with ELCA Living Waters Ministries. I'm very excited to know what God has in store for both Z & I this Summer & the months following. I will be serving in the position of Senior High Camp Director.

BAD: The sleep we lost due to our worry of our poor Michi puppy licking her scar & wound from the clamp. Our puppy likes to lick, so thankfully we came up with a quick fix & knew where to find the onesie that our family used 3.5 years ago for our niece's birth announcement. Yes, she's still wearing it & still sleeping a lot, but also playful. Also bad, the constant surprise of how cold it remains to be. This is not just me who's been living around the 45th parallel for the last 7 years, this is everybody that lives above the Mason Dixon line. Bring on the mud season!

UGLY: Last Sunday Z & I watched Zero Dark Thirty & while fascinating. I wonder what that woman is up to now & where those children in the home ended up & how the soldiers are doing. SO much war going on in the world & in people's personal lives. Also, it's ugly that it is a surprise when certain states are able to pass laws in favor of all people being allowed to be married. I wish there wasn't a reason to doubt those laws passing.

WORD: I finally started reading The Help after how many years? I'm a bit behind after college & seminary. Plus I'm not a big reader. Aside from this though I've also been using the app called Devotion for a morning & evening moment in the word. It's free, definitely recommend it!

coming up: More recovery for Michi (she's doing great), prepping for Summer Work, Zumba, & planning a few trips here or there.

& now to enjoy the Oscars!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Friday Favorites or Saturday Surprise!

I started Friday Favorites on Friday, but here it is Saturday & that's how life rolls.

Yesterday was a day at home to stay out of the ridiculous cold weather that has been called the Polar Vortex. I'm tired of hearing it. It's cold, it's still Winter for a few more weeks. Yup.

I also was at home taking care of our Michi Gander as she is recovering from being spade on Thursday. So naturally I made a delicious meal for dinner that wasn't much fuss while she was snoozing & snoozing on the couch.

Recently I've been focusing on #makingthemiddlework as Kelly Barton says. Taking in life's little joys like opening the blinds to let the sunshine in & realizing how pretty a clove of garlic is. Creation makes me smile & yearn for good things in life.

And that's where life is rolling on this Saturday Surprise!

Where do you find yourself rolling today?